NOTE: Click on the appropriate links for letters archives from 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998 and 1997 Also, various Avocado Memories reviews are here.


Hi Wes,

I was just looking at your website. I found it by sheer accident while looking at old model kits online that I used to build as a kid. Just wanted to thank you for sharing your memories of growing up. I havent looked at the whole site but I will come back and look more later. How I wish I or may family had documented things more like you did...oh how I wish. You should put some of your old film clips up on youtube to share with the world. Just a thought.

Take care...james


Dear Wes,

Christmas greetings! Today, I entered "Sargents Burbank" in Google search and came upon your website. Wow did that bring back fond memories!! I am fifty-four, live in Glendale, and was raised on Sargents' food, and oh, how wonderful it was! Oh to have a restaurant like that around nowadays. Being a clock collector, I always loved Sargents' clocks that used to chime. I think the only restaurant that came close afterward was Tick Tock, with its many antique clocks. I do remember that grandfather clock! The last time I went to Sargents was with my parents in July 1969 when I was sixteen. It was early evening before we headed to Pasadena to board the Santa Fe "El Capitan" train for our vacation to the east. Perhaps your mom was our waitress. They were all such lovely ladies. Little did we know at that time that Sargents had only a few months to live. Let's see if you remember these things about Sargents that I recall: the big cuckoo clock on the rear wall of the main dining room, the old wooden box wall telephones in the red velvet back room, the prune-whip dessert, the apricot (or something similar) cobbler dessert, the water pitchers that said "crick water," the honey pitcher that said "sticky goo" (I have one of those honey pitchers that I found at a thrift store in the eighties), the hexagon or octagon divided candy container for us kids on the cash register counter, the picture of General George Patton and the picture of the village blacksmith shop, both on the east wall, the organist who played during the evenings. For years, I looked around in second-hand stores for a Sargents ashtray (not sure if they ever existed). I'd sure like to have a souvenir menu! I wonder if any are still around. There was a chicken dish on the menu that they spelled something like "cuhlud chicken" (not sure I got that right) and could never figure out what that meant. So well I remember waiting out in front of the restaurant for our table to be ready and sometimes walking to the east side of Sargents where there used to be a car wash. They had that parading strip of colored lights along the front of the building. And I do so well remember that bell that hung outside and the wishing well (both in your picture). Sargents always closed at 8 p.m. and they were closed on Tuesdays--the sign out front said "Gone Fishin'." I remember an elderly lady who worked the cash register who had straight grey hair, a bit shorter than shoulder length, and, if I remember correctly, an apparent vision problem in one eye. A few years ago, I bought a Sargents postcard, with the pictures you have on your website, on, I believe, eBay. Oh, life seemed so simple and wonderful then, with such niceties that didn't break the bank to enjoy.

Do you remember Kikos Mexican Restaurant on Victory Boulevard, across from Jack McAfee Volkswagen, where Barragan's Mexican Reataurant is today? Do you remember Arthur's round restaurant on Victory and Alameda? How about Leonards store where OSH is now, and Market Basket, in that same complex? Who can forget the Blarney Stone restaurant on Hollywood Way? I well remember the Sav-On that you have a picture of. Do you remember Woody's Smorgasburger restaurant where IHOP is now (it was a division of IHOP then) across from where Zodys was on San Fernando Road? Remember Augie's Fireside restaurant on Glenoaks Boulevard near Jay Scott Drugs (not far east from Reese Street)? In 1976, I worked for a short time at Joe Phillips Dodge. Do you remember Palleys hardware store, in Glendale, on San Fernando Road near Sonora, where ACCO is today? Years ago, I remember when Fry's Electronics store at Hollywood Way and Vanowen used to be Unimart (something like a Kmart). Wasn't there a place called Scotts Burgers, with a tower, at Olive Avenue at Victory? Remember Villa Cabrini Academy where the Lutheran High School was later, and the little chapel you could see on the side of the hill above Glenoaks, near Kenneth Road? Do you remember Bill's Ranch Market that was at Alameda and San Fernando Road?

From 1965 to 1968 I went to Village Christian School, affiliated with Village Church. Sargents was one of the advertisers in the back pages of our VCS 1965 yearbook. And yes, I do remember the Farmhouse and the Buttery. Never ate there, but always wanted to. I was wondering if they still existed. You answered my question.

Thank you for making my evening going back into my memories. Take good care of yourself and I bid you and yours the happiest of Christmas seasons.



Hello Wes,

I stumbled across your childhood remembrances while looking for information on an 8mm Brownie. I really enjoyed looking at them and reading about what seems like simpler times. Thank you for sharing those pictures of your childhood.


Hi Wes,

Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your website "Avacado Memories". I discovered it when searching for restaurants for a vacation to SoCal. I am only a couple of years younger than you so our parents good taste in decorating definetely crossed state lines! I really wanted you to know how much my son enjoyed reading your acount of your service at Camp Pendleton. That is his current duty station, although he is now deployed in Iraq. I showed him your site when he was home on leave this last summer after boot camp and his signals-intel school and we enjoyed some laughs together.



Hi there,
I accidentally stumbled across your "Captain Russian" stories this evening while conducting an altogether unrelated Google search. Man, that stuff is great. I used to draw my own superhero stories during class and they were not unlike yours, although I'm probably ten years younger than you, including my own Captain America ripoff, Iron Man ripoff, Hulk ripoff, etc. Wonderful memories have come pouring into my brain thanks to your site.



Howdy Wes,
Happened upon your site looking for the Coppertone girl ad at the beach somehow. And then I was hooked when your family photos look a lot like mine! (I was born in 1955 and was in Glendale from 56 to 62 - so no wonder! We probably breathed the same smog. Anyway, your site looks great and I wanna check out more when I have time. Thanks.

Cheers, Fred

"We probably breathed the same smog" - I love it. It reminds me of a Civil War saying, "We drank from the same canteen." - Wes


Hi Wes,

I just want to tell you how much I have appreciated your site over the past five years! Ever since I relocated to Southern California for college I became fascinated with Southern California history. Speaking for the “younger generation”, I think your website does an amazing job of documenting the Southern California lifestyle first hand through the evolution of your house. Keep up the good work!




I stumbled upon your site from another link, and wanted to let you know I really enjoy it. I haven’t been able to go through the entire site, so I’ll be spending many additional hours checking it out. Anyway, I have a 60s and 70s (I graduated high school in ’76) site based on the area I grew up, which was in and around Marlow Heights, Maryland (a close-in suburb of DC). Anyway, keep up the good work and...

Keep the memories alive,

Fun memories of Marlow Heights, MD and vicinity in the 60s and 70s!


I stumbled across this while searching for….well, I can’t even remember, now. J

I haven’t been through the whole site, but what I’ve seen so far is fantastic. I was born in 1964, and my older brother was born in 1957 (his seven years of peace). This is very similar to our memories of growing up in Fresno, CA.

Great stuff! Thanks for taking the time to preserve memories like this!



Hi Wes,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading every single page of your site! Mainly because I can relate. I grew up in Kentucky and North Carolina, but the similarities are the same.

I was raised during the same time period (Born Nov. 1956) also served in the Military (Air Force-74-78) and I guess it didn't really matter what state you lived in, things were pretty much the same everywhere. Although, we always thought that people from California always had one up on us.

I could go on and on but I won't. Just wanted to drop a line and let you know I enjoy the site a lot and will check in from time to time to see what you have updated!

Take care,

Myrtle Beach, SC


Someone just gave me a copy of your piece about the bellows coffee table. The bellows coffee table was reproduced in the early 60's and sold in furniture stores. I am aware of the bellows coffee table because I have one that is made from a giant bellows used in the blacksmith shop of a gold mine in Goldfield, Nevada nearly 100 years ago. The legs are make from the legs from a wooden kitchen table taken from an abandoned home in Goldfield. I smiled about your Dad and his shins. I can't count the number of people who used some choice words after falling over the iron spout until I removed it.


Hi Wes.

I love your site! I grew up in Northridge, CA and spent a lot of my childhood loathing the 50's decor and 60's furniture in my home.

Someone asked you about the toy which consisted of little tubes of goop used to make balloons. My friends and I had a very brief time in the early 70's trying to have fun with this. Somehow, it was never satisfying - maybe we were just too old for it, being in Junior High at the time. Or maybe it was that, even then, we recognized it as being too toxic to want to mess with. Or maybe it just didn't work very well - it was hard to blow up a good-sized balloon, and often there would be a hole in it when you tried to detach it. Anyway, they still sell it! I saw it today in Safeway, and it's called B'Loonies. Just thought you, and Patti, might like to know.



Hey man, great site!! I grew up in a little town called Kennett Square about 30 miles west of Philadelphia. Every Saturday I walked up town and bought a model at J. J. Newberrys. (Usually stopped at the soda counter and had a cheese burger, coke and piece of pie 96 cents if you can believe that.) I built all of the monster models you show, except for the Bride of Frankstien. Never saw that one. I think its very cool………….Funny how we all shared a similar childhood. The American Experience I guess.

Best of Luck to you!!!


I read your article on the Bellows table and if someone wanted to see one they could watch APOLLO 13. My wife and I have the same bellows table and was wondering what year it was actually made and do you know the value? My wife's father has had it since my wife was a baby. We both are in our 40's.

Thank you.


I have no idea! It is certainly what one would call "kitsch," however, which I suspect would date the earliest ones to the 1960's or perhaps the 1950's. "My wife's father has had it since my wife was a baby." 1960's...

Anyway, I used to go to antique stores and furniture shops with my Mom all the time as a child, and I never recall seeing one before we bought ours. I suspect these were first made in the first half of the 1960's. BUT... because nearly everything I guess a date for is about ten years older than I suspect, I'm going to guess that the first ones were made in the 1950's, along with the Conestoga wagon TV lamps and such. Kitsch.

Look... you can buy another here exactly like ours for only $249: - I see the seller is in Tarzana. Perhaps these were made locally, in L.A.



Hi Wes,

My name is Patti; I live in Canada and was born in 1961. I found your toy site and thought if anyone might recall something from that time, it might be you.

OK here goes…

I remember having tubes of high smelling goop for bubble blowing. It was pungent, heady stuff so perhaps I hallucinated the whole thing. It would never make it past the drawing board today. You squeezed put a pea size glob of the goop, put a hard, short straw into it and blew and bubble that could be pinched off and held. It didn’t survive long but it kicked soap bubble butt.

Am I imagining this? Do you have any recollection of anything remotely like it?

Thanks for your time.

By the way, thanks for the Mouse Trap and Hands Down memories, I had forgotten about those.



You will be happy to note that, yes, I do remember this stuff and that, no, you weren't imagining it.

You will also be interested to learn that it was still manufactured up to at least about 15 years ago. I know this because my own son got one in a "goodie bag" after a birthday party he attended. I never played with it as a kid and I don't remember it as a child.

And yes, it smelled. A little like airplane glue, as I recall. Phew! I'm pretty sure it was manufactured in China. And I haven't seen it in years.



Hey Wes,

I was surfing online looking for antiques and I came across your Bubank Patio mention of a bellows shaped coffee table. I've got one, too. I think there were really more than two manufactured. We got the same [folklore] story from my wife's Iowa grandmother when she gave it to us (the other one was also bought by a doctor...).

Mine is all maple (I think). Anyway, there is no formica as your webpage indicated. I refinished it to remove a bad waterstain (potted plant) on the top. The photo you supplied looks exactly the same.

That's about it. No agenda here; just saying hey. Thought it was cool that it was in Apollo 13....

Barry in Albuquerque

Geez, I wonder if that story about a doctor owning one was part of the sales talk the manufacturers required their representatives to give! - Wes


I must say, you certainly preserved a lot of memories there and really shook out some stuff I haven't remembered in 4 decades (esp. the TV shows and toys)

We are approx. the same and, and shared the same facinations - tho' it's interesting to see that I could share so much of the same memories in MD as someone who lived in CA. While I didn't live near Hollywood, I at least got to visit the '64 NY World's Fair, which had quite an impact on my small mind.

A 60's toy anecdote: I remember one magical, early 60's Christmas getting a plastic battleship, which moved across the floor on wheels (battery?) and had litle missle launchers on it. I also got this seemingly HUGE blue truck with a HUGE, metal, spring-loaded cannon (Big Bertha? Max? ) on a yellow plastic turrent. It rotated and aimed the barrel via motors, batteries and conrol buttons and had dials and other cool stuff on it. My 10 years older brother suggested "Let's have a battle" and was aiming the huge truck cannon toward my smaller battleship to totally annilate it. I spun the ship's tiny, spring rocket turrent his way as the barrel slowly and noisily homed in and fired it straight into his aiming eye! What a great triump that I can still vividly remember to this day!

I AM quite envious of your Batman gloves. Adam West still evokes child-hero shivers in me. I DO have some cool, 3D stereo-slides I took of Him (the Gorshin) some 9 years ago that I will scan and post eventually.



I was checking out "veined mirrors" when I came across Avocado Memories. You brought back many memories (even though I grew up in Philadelphia where classy folk painted their tiny cement backyards kelly green). Especially Dark Shadows, and Sky King and Tarot Cards and Ouija Boards on and on. Thanks, Wes. You made my day! - Susan



I followed a link from to to your Avocado Memories site and spent way too much time there today.

I, too, grew up in the 70s in southern California. We lived in Upland, which is near Ontario in San Bernardino county. I'm about four years younger than you are. We didn't have shag carpeting in our house, we had short-pile plush. We did have avocado colored appliances, whew! My parents didn't try the tiki room decorating approach, either, thank goodness! We did have gold and brown indoor-outdoor carpeting in the family room/dining room area, ewwww.

We went to a Clifton's cafeteria occasionally. I don't think it was in downtown L.A. and I remember it was visible from interstate 10.

I remember the Sav-On commercials, oh yes!

Have you ever been to Look on the home page for Institute of Official Cheer and check out the section "interior desecrations", which is now a book (per the website), that has some awful examples of 1970s decor. He did not enjoy the 70s.

I just remembered, I wanted to comment on "Hotsy-Totsy". I recall that Lawrence Welk had a musical group regularly appear on his show "(name) and his Hotsy-Totsy Boys".

I'm also amazed, considering your family's diet, that you didn't weigh 300 pounds as a kid.

Thanks for the memories!

Santa Rosa, CA

Thanks for the kind words! I've been a Lileks reader for the last ten years... "Interior Desecrations" is a hilarious book. I own it! - Wes


Hello Wes-
I stumbled upon your website by accident tonight and stayed on it for three hours. It sure brought back fond memories of my own childhood. Some of the toys you played with were also my favorites, and some of them I had completely forgotten existed! I was born two years before you but the things you describe were eerily comparable to my experiences, even though I grew up in Michigan. Thanks for being so frank and revealing about how you felt when things in your childhood happened, too. I recall many of the same feelings.

I will be back on your site in the future to continue reading your reminisces. There's way too much included to digest in one evening.

Ken Draper


Hi Wes!

Thank you for your homepage. It was very nice to get back to my own 60's memories through yours. I was born in 1964 in Portugal, in the city Oporto. In spite of being away from the USA I somehow could share and recognize some of your memories.

I came across your page when looking for 1975 Cadillac Eldorado. I now own one in a color that might interest you, a so called Lido Green which should have been a special edition for the '75 Spring.

Thanks again.



I have to tell you about my experience today. I am a 52 year old male from Wshington DC. I am a nostalgia buff and always like to think back to happier and simpler times in the early sixties. I had a wonderful childhood and had some wonderful toys. I recently went out to eat with my parents and I was talking about all the cool stuff from the 60's and I tried to explain the gizmo I had that attached to a soda bottle and I could put ice cream in and have an ice cream float. My parents thought I was crazy and had no idea what I was talking about. I also described a toy set I had of some kind of rocket base with missle launchers. I can still see it clearly in my head but had trouble describing it to anyone.

Well I did an internet search for this device that made ice cream floats and found your site. I discovered what I was looking for "the ASTO FLOAT" not only was there a description but a color photo. Wes I just stared at that picture and just went back so many summers ago when I would enjoy a "cold one" in the back yard. It was a wonderful feeling. After I got over that I decided to scroll down a bit after I came to notice you and I had MANY of the same toys. I was enjoying myself when I came upon the ultimate item, the one I have been trying to find some trace of for years, the one and only Operation X-500 Rocket Base by Deluxe Reading. I could not believe my eyes, there it was exactly how I remembered it and I also remembered some of its features I had not thought of in 47 years. I could not believe it!

I want to thank you so much for the pictures and descriptions and lnks to some of the most memorable toys I owned. I could not believe you had the picture of the Astro Ray Gun! That was a fantastic toy I have not thought of in over 48 years!

Thank you so much for the memories and I dream of the day when I can purchase a X-500 for my own again. This sounds too childish to even talk about with most people but I can tell you can understand where I am coming from.

Thanks again Wes.


Glad I was able to awaken some dormant brain cells and memories for you!

I turn 51 on this Friday, so yes, we played with the same toys.

The one I have a hard time finding is the Kenner Car-Plane. None have turned up anywhere and people seem to have almost entirely forgotten about it.

Anyway... Glad you liked it!



Hi Wes,

I found your site via Google when I was searching for Bela's Foreign Repair in Burbank. Enjoyed the car stories and just wanted to let you know that Bela's still in business. I've never known his last name, which is what prompted my Google search. Still don't know; maybe I should just ask him next time I'm there.

Anyway, he and his Vietnamese mechanics have kept my 87 VW camper going strong. He's been in business so long at this point that it's like he knows the manufacturing history of every obscure part that breaks on the van. How, say, the original part was forged in steel, then VW started using a stamped part that made them break after 100,000 miles or some such. Or why driving with my brights on would burn out a particular fuse unless some other part was replaced with a part they started using in the 89 van. Etc., etc.

So thanks for the read. Reading about your Le Baron made me remember how I learned to parallel park using my folks' Chrysler Nueport---compared to that, the van's easy.



Dear Wes,

I was just browsing information about the baby boomers and I came across your site. Its amazing. I caught a channel 11 program the other day about the baby boomers and was intrigued. My parents were born in 1953 and 1946 so I am interested in what their characteristics may be.

I also enjoyed your website for your photos, and the way the stories came out through your words and the picture quality. It makes me want to go through my old photos from when I was growing up in the 80s.

Thanks for it!


Amanda: Do it! Actually, I get this a lot... If Avocado Memories does nothing other than to inspire people to start scrapbooks of their own it will have been well worth the effort! - Wes


Hi Wes,

Holy Flashback!

I stumbled across your site via Google, which in turn was initiated when I saw a Hamilton's Invader creature on ebay. I've yet to digest all your text but from what I can tell, we had very similar experiences growing up. (I lived in Philadelphia.) I'm 48 so my prime toy/pop culture era was 1963 - 1975.

I swear 1966 was just a magic year. Batman, monsters, Star Trek...

I was very fortunate to have close relatives in the toy biz so I had practically anything I wanted. My most vivid toy memories are comic books, Warren mags, Big Loo, Hamilton's Invaders, Colorform aliens, Creepy/Crawler Fright Factory, and Aurora models. Believe it or not I had TWO Big Frankies! The first one got crushed during a rather rambuncous game of Batman (I was dressed in my Halloween costume, I tackled my cousin and we both broke the model... Which was replaced that week!

Anyway, my mind is flooded with memories of stuff that's way too expensive to buy on ebay. Maybe I can settle for some picture books. Do you have any to recommend? Okay I'm starting to ramble. Thanks for memorializing your experiences.

Van Nuys, CA

Folks: The one I always recommend is "Toy Bop" by Tom Frey. It is available via - Wes

Hello Wes,
I have spent the last few evenings reading Your website. Great stuff! Talk about a stroll down memory lane!

I was born in 1960 so am about 4 years behind You but have so many similar memories. My Grandparents raised me so I was raised by the generation preceding my real parents. I turned out much the same way You did. I loved the comments on the "Kenner Give a show projector" I felt the same way.

My Grandmother used the same avacado antiqueing process on almost every piece of furniture and our entire house was exterior avacado paint as well as a general theme throughout the interior. We replaced the avacado kitchen appliances with brown in the late 70's. California was not that much different from Michigan, I guess, as I have many of the same memories right down to the fluorescent orange Union 76 styrofoam balls. I was a G.I. Joe kid and also Major Matt Mason. Too many things to go into detail about.

I live in Montana now but reading your website was almost like reading about my own life. Aurora monster models, Toy guns (particularly Hubley's) but I had all the Agent Zero stuff as well. Mattel shootin shell m-14 and 45. Great stuff! Great website. Thanks!


Hello Wes!

Last night I could not sleep, so I turned the computer on and found you. I am so glad I did. So much of what you write about, I lived too. I grew up in Houston. We we have an equal of Burbank in this area and I lived in it. Southeast Houston and Pasadena sound so much like the Burbank you describe. That part of Houston was filled with hard working, salt of the earth people.

My folks had a house built in a middle class neighborhood in 1970. I recall going with them when they picked out carpet for the house. The choices were burn your eyes out electric blue--I think like your perpetually moving throw rug; harvest gold and the one that we and almost everyone else in the neighborhood had--SCULPTURED AVOCADO GREEN. The kitchen appliances were in harvest gold. The woodgrained metal and formica kitchen table had avocado green chairs. The two phones in the house were avocado green as were most of the drapes in the house. Mother had gold foil wall paper with black velvet designs on the dining room wall on top of the gawdy wallpaper but still on the wall were self adhesive mirrored tiles etched with gold. Mother and Daddy put those up to make a home decor statement I think. Another thing indicative of the era it seems, is the eternally white walls for those accent walls not acting as support to gawdy wall paper. My Dad to this day does not want color on his walls. Of course, in the den, we had dark wood paneling which was more than likely builder grade. Builder grade is another way of spelling 'cheap' because over the years, the panels warpped slightly with our hot, humid climate. We had two tvs and a grand total of 6 television stations in the Houston area. Rabbit ears were wrapped with foil so we could get better reception. Every Saturday night, Lawrence Welk was on in my house. To this day, the sound of an accordian accompanying Norma Zimmer makes me think back to my formative years. I still have some of the Avon bottles Mother had. I even have Avon reward pins my Gram earned from selling those bottles filled with perfume. I don't think that perfume has been made in years.

As I was born in 1958, I am roughly your age. We were fortunate to have grown up in the 60s and 70s. There is a sweetness to avocado green memories.

Thanks for the walk down Memory Lane!


Post script: On a dark but humorous note, when my friend Margaret's Dad died in 1994, Margaret and her Mom went through his closet for a decent tie for him to wear for burial. They neither one had been in the closet in years because it was his turf--not theirs. In the back of the closet, there was a polyester double-knit plaid suit with contrasting top stitching which had not been worn in years. It smelled of Hai Karate. Margaret said he had not used that scent since the seventies! What staying power!


Dear Mr. Clark,

I enjoyed your section about quad 8-tracks. I can identify with that 70's pic, because I too was 18 in 74. I am now 50, will be 51 soon and how time flies.

I too had a 8-track player back in 74 that my parents bought when I graduated from high school. I don't have it anymore. It was a cheapo on a rolling stand with little speakers. Over the years, I bought a few 8-tracks, coudn't affford them, I found Arc of the Diver at K-mart for around ten bucks back around 80. Which and still is a lot of money for any 8-track. My roomate ran across the 8-track heaven website a few years ago, showed it too me and I have been hooked ever since on tracking. I had a lot of tapes before, but that site really got me going. I now have thousand of them. all kinds of tapes, from trash to mint.

I can relate to your frustrations about 8-tracks breaking. It is a pain, but a pain that I have learned to deal with. All I know how to do is homemade repairs. You have to have a lot of patience with them. I take it with a grain of salt. If I can get one going, I am happy, if I can't I throw it away the trash and save the parts. I enjoy the website 8-track heaven and have contributed to the site. I still can find tapes, even quads, most not rock, for fifty cents at the Salvation Army. I enjoy tracking very much. Again, I enjoyed that photo of you proudly sitting in front of your quad player.

Best to you.

Thanks, Dave! I get a kick out of that web site, and like their guiding philsophy: "High tech is in the mind of the beholder." I also got a kick out of the stories about car-mounted 8-track decks: "Nobody steals them. Nobody wants them."




I also grew up in Burbank CA; my family lived on Niagara St, between Empire Ave and close to the Bob Hope Airport. For a amazingly short 21 years there (it seems like) like all things do, I moved on, but as you I and look back at where all my favorite memories are all at. My father (rest his soul) owned the Union 78 station on the corner of Hollywood Way and Victory Blvd (or the other way around); he worked there in the early 70's until around 1980 and then retired.

I used to hang out there with him, and one of my "spots" was the T&A Hobby Shop on Victory Blvd.

Working with my Dad, those hot summer days, he would send me on what he called a "mission" to go over to the liquor store (I can't exactly remember the place) off hand, and I would purchase us some Tom's "cheese" popcorn - YUM!! and a couple of bottles of Coke. (Hey, its the real thing you know... LOL.) And to get to the point of my email to you, is my fun hobby store, T&A, is now sadly gone. After over 55 years it has closed its doors for good.

I can't tell you the times that I hung out in that place; a little messy, but to an 11 year-old boy... perfect!!

The well crafted, carefully built model planes that hung from the old several layers of oil base really bad paint ceiling that I would stare at for hours... my Dad would sometimes have to leave the station and go look for me. Funny how time always flew fast in that place. I stayed loyal to that great hobby store, going in and always finding whatever I needed for my RC addiction to planes, models and whatever.

I wanted to share this place with you and wondered if you have any Avocado Memories of it?

I had a lot of friends that patrolled that little store, and I was so saddened to hear of its owners. Addie was a great human being and the staff there were always very helpful and really cared. I guess the little places like these come and go in our lives... but such a sweet place it was...and I will miss it dearly.

Just thought I would share..sorry about being so long... I am hooked on your amazingly wonderful site and have been since 2001... LOL. Thank You!

Take care,
Bishop, CA

I have but one memory of the T&A Hobby Lobby: I bought a model of Napoleon Bonaparte (!) there once, in 1973, I think it was. The hat was missing... so I made one out of black construction paper and presented it to Angela De Tolla, who was nuts about Napoleon - she wasn't at all impressed. I tried my hardest with the facial features and the uniform, but my gift was rejected. Heartbreaking.



Hi Wes,

Daydreaming about old toys and I came across your webpages. Nice to remember this stuff. I was actually looking for a picture of an old toy that was a rocket launch station - it had three rockets that you moved up/down a gantry and then launched.

I was born in Feb. '57, so we are similar in age. I must confess that relative to me, you look like you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth (slight joke). You had all the toys that I wished I had! Too bad about Big Loo! You should have left him in the original packing - you could retire on him alone. Well, I wanted a Green Hornet costume for my Captain Action ($1.95 in 1965 or so). Too expensive for my folks. But now goes for $3,200 on EBAY. Thanks Mom. (I still have all of my CA stuff).

I'll have to read thru all your pages - they look like fun. Your dad seemed like a great guy.




Hi Wes,
I was born in 1963.
Today, I had just hung up the phone with my husband, when all of a sudden I thought "Fat, Fat, the Water Rat," and as is my custom, in this internet age, I decided to look up this expression since I had no idea why I have always known it. (I have not thought of it for decades either.) Anyway, I happened upon your site. It's wonderful. I only had 20 minutes or so to peruse it, but I smiled, reminisced, and admired the content. I really enjoyed your observations and tales of events in your youth (especially with your neighbors). Thanks for sharing in such a well-written, well-documented, entertaining fashion.



Hi Wes,

I wanted to drop you a note and say thanks for the memories you publicly share on your website. I'm probably younger than most of your readers and almost young enough to be your son, born in 1978, but it stirs plenty of memories and emotions of my growing up as well.

My grandparents were both sucessful in business and 'retired' to a large cattle farm and house built in North Alabama in 1976. My step-grandmother desired all the modern conveniences and styles of 1976 that could fit into the enormity of a 6,200 sq. ft. house, some of which are also showcased in your home. I have many wonderful memories, especially from the holiday seasons of the brown and gold shag, the wood panelling, the faux brick kitchen floor, the loud patterned wallpaper and the nifty colored appliances. She had a son that was 10 years older than me, so I got to play with all his toys, again some of which you describe in detail and some I've yet to find even on e-Bay or thrift stores. They never redecorated (or for that matter threw *anything* away) and their house was a shining example of that era.

My step-grandmother passed away two thanksgivings ago and my grandfather was unable to keep up with such a large house and the farm. I had the pleasure of assisting in the cleanup and sale of the property and found many gems along the way. Who knew that odds and ends could stir up emotions? Checkbooks dating back to the 1940s, Newspapers from the 60s-80s, books and magazines and obscure board games from along the way. And more gadgets and gizmos than you could shake a stick at. I took plenty of pictures to remember the way things once were 20+ Christmases and Thanksgivings ago.

This was the first Thanksgiving and Christmas the family did not gather around the dining room there and the season felt amiss. The pictures I took along with your website have helped me bridge that gap and I am truly thankful.




Hi Wes,
Since I penned the first letter of 2006, I had to keep the streak going and tell you again how much I enjoy your site. I visit often and still find it as charming and touching as ever. Thanks for one of the best sites on the net.

Sincerely, Glenn

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